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New Ways To Use An Old Staple: Your Microwave

It pops your corn and warms your leftovers, but did you know that your microwave can help with household chores as well? Next time you need to plant seeds or clean with a sponge, head to the microwave first. Zapping an item can disinfect cutting boards, clean sponges and even sterilize garden soil. Just make sure you’re using microwave-safe dishware, and start nuking!

Here are six unexpected ways to use your microwave:

1. Sanitize Your Sponge 

In a recent study, more than 75 percent of sponges tested positive for coliform bacteria, which can cause food poisoning, and 18 percent of sponges had staph germs. To kill bacteria, yeast and mold in kitchen sponges, microwave it! Place a completely wet sponge in the microwave on the highest setting for two minutes. Carefully remove the sponge and let it cool before use.

2. Soften Brown Sugar 

If your brown sugar won’t crumble, wet some paper towels and place them on top of the brown sugar in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave the bowl in 30-second increments until it’s loose enough to use.

3. Disinfect Plastic Cutting Boards

Rub the cutting board with the cut side of a lemon, and then heat it for one minute. The acid of the lemon and the heat will kill any lingering bacteria. To learn more about cleaning your cutting boards, read: Clean Your Cutting Board & Classic Wooden Boards.

4. Decrystallize Honey

If your honey is looking less than appetizing, heat the honey until the crystals melt. Heat it in small 20-second bursts until it’s flowing smoothly.

5. Sterilize Garden Soil

If you’re starting your plant seedlings inside, first sterilize your garden soil. To do this, spread soil on a flat dish, and then heat it on high for 90 seconds or until it’s steaming.

6. Make a 5-minute Cupcake

If you’re craving a cupcake and want it quickly, mix a few ingredients in a coffee mug and voila! You have a cupcake. For more details, check out: All Things Cupcake.

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